I never thought I would write an article such as this. Six months ago, I would have said, “why would anyone need a guide on how to eat outside of their homes?” As we’ve seen, anything is possible in 2020, and here I am, getting ready to share the essential tips for venturing out of your home for a meal. Let’s dive in, shall we?
Each state, more-or-less, has its own set of rules for what you can and cannot do at a restaurant. Primarily, the most significant discrepancy seems to be that some states allow indoor dining while others are still outside only. Through some personal experience and research, I’ve gathered the below tips to practice safe restaurant visits that enable you to help local businesses while doing your best to keep everyone healthy.
Even if you live in a state that allows indoor dining, the safest thing you can do is to opt outside. Multiple states have reported cases that trace back to one night inside of a restaurant. It’s warm out there, but some restaurants have set up umbrellas, misters and fans to keep you as cool as possible. Plus, it’s summer – enjoy the outdoors while we still can.
Obviously, you cannot eat with a mask, but there are key moments when you should be wearing your mask during your dining experience. From the moment you arrive to the moment you are seated, you should wear your mask. When your server comes to take your order or check on you, pop on that mask. If you get up from your table to use the restroom or for anything else, you guessed it, put on your mask. While you’re at your table sitting and the server isn’t with you, enjoy your meal. For everything in-between, you should have your mask handy – and that includes using the restroom.
Avoid Handheld Menus
Look for restaurants offering QR codes. These codes allow you to pull up their menus on your phone. Or, look it up on the restaurant’s menu ahead of time on their website. You don’t know who else has touched the menu, and it’s not worth the risk when you can look it up with a quick Google search.
Pay with A Card
You’ve probably noticed this in a lot of places, but be prepared to pay with a credit card or Apple Pay. Cash is, quite literally, too handsy. You don’t want to expose yourself or your server to money that’s touched many hands. Cash was considered one of the dirtiest things before coronavirus. With COVID-19 in play, it’s best not to mess with it. If your server takes your card and returns it to you, be sure to sanitize your hands and your card.
Throughout the time spent at your table, you’re touching various things like forks, plates, and cups. If you are erring on the safe side (we do too), keep your sanitizer close to sanitize your hands and the dishware items you will be touching with your hands.
Now is a scary time to be in the service industry with a pandemic happening. Every day they’re exposed to potential illness to ensure an income; the least we can do is help them stay as safe as possible, and tip our servers well to make sure they know their service is appreciated.